Corruption, ethics and the police (not a joke post)

A couple of days ago we posted on the contract for the Queen Sirikit National Convention Center which went, without going to a bid or to any significant renegotiation to N.C.C. Management & Development Co., a company in the gargantuan business empire of Charoen Sirivadhanabhakdi. Charoen is one of Thailand’s richest worth almost $14 billion (naturally, he’s also close to the palace.)

Back in December, Charoen’s companies also came up when it was revealed that metropolitan police chief Pol. Lt. Gen. Sanit Mahathavorn was on the payroll of the giant alcohol and beverage producer Thai Beverage Plc. The top cop is getting 600,000 baht a year as an “adviser.”

That seemed whiffy to many. But not to the cops. The Bangkok Post reports that the Royal Thai Police – we imagine that “royal” bit in its moniker is significant – “has confirmed that metropolitan police chief … is not violating police rules by holding an advisory role with a major alcohol conglomerate.”

Nope, nothing wrong with that at all. It is a conflict of interest for sure, but who cares about that these days?

A police deputy spokesman has said that the Royal Thai Police’s rules do not prohibit officers “from holding an advisory role in a company.”

That’s got to be true because working with companies, helping them, bending rules for them and doing the odd bit of protection is one way that top cops become wealthy beyond their salaries. Remember how fabulously wealthy the odious police chief Somyos Pumpanmuang was. He got bucket loads of loot from companies and others.

The police deputy spokesman then dumped ethics into the trash. He said that “it is up to Pol Lt Gen Sanit himself to explain whether advising an alcohol beverage producer could be seen as a breach of ethics…”.

No police officer could possibly judge ethics simply because they a pretty much absent from the force. After all, those who seek bribes, torture, murder and manage multiple conflicts of interest will have difficulty identifying this thing called “ethics.”

We guess there are decent cops, but the whole force is lubricated by corruption and crime, so it’s  hard for any cop to avoid the systemic nature of these things.

Sanit, though, is also a member of the National Legislative Assembly (NLA), so perhaps that puppet non-parliament has some kind of code that mentions ethics? They may have, but then most of the members are police and military men wealthy in quite unusual proportions.

We expect the “clean as a whistle” verdict in another case of junta-related corruption allegations.

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